Battersea Locksmiths

Thatcher Tried To Use MI5 For Her Own Ends

Well, it’s official. Magaret Thatcher, an ex-prime minister, tried to get one of the intelligence services to help her defeat the coal miners during her battle with the UK’s working class.

A historian has been give completely free access to the files of MI5 in order to write its history. MI5 is the UK’s counter-espionage service. I was happy to learn that they resisted her demands, considering that the miners’ people in question were not subversive and thus outside their mandate. Interestingly, they considered that an earlier, Labour, prime minister — Harold Wilson — was potentially subversive and thus did keep a file on him, as he always suspected.

(The UK’s most famous state employee, James Bond, didn’t work in counter-espionage at MI5, but instead for the sister intelligence service, SIS, also known as MI6.)

The checks and balances among the power sources in Britain really are quite fascinatingly complicated.

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